A £1.7m scheme will see eight battery-powered buses on Nottingham's roads by the autumn.
It is hoped that the lower energy costs and maintenance needs will make annual savings of £8,000 compared to diesel buses.
Nottingham City Council said the emission-free vehicles offered a more sustainable form of public transport.
Half of the buses, likely to be operated by Trent Barton, will be used on the Centrelink route.
The remaining four will be used on the city council's Link Bus network, which includes Worklink, Shoplink, Unilink and Medilink services.
The buses, which take roughly eight hours to charge for a full day's service, were partly funded by a £760,000 grant from the Department for Transport.
Andy Gibbons, public transport team leader at the council, said: "Diesel and petrol prices are already very expensive and costs are only likely to increase.
"It's therefore very important that we begin investing in cheaper and more sustainable forms of transport."
Durham is currently the only other city in the UK to use the buses.